You would think, post-Plaxico and post-Pacman, that the NFL would want to be a little skittish around guns these days. Ah, but before then, it was a different time, and players could pack more steel than the Eiffel Tower.
And hey, speaking of steel, it’s our old friends, the Pittsburgh Steelers! This is, as THE SPORTING BLOG notes, an old picture; they’re celebrating the 2006 Super Bowl, not the most recent. That all said, gentlemen, that’s a lot of guns.
As the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS reports, this was all part of something called a “shooting party,” and it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what goes on there:
AT LEAST 14 Pittsburgh Steelers participated in a shooting party with Pennsylvania State Police troopers at the Greensburg barracks, using state police ammunition and illegal assault weapons from the evidence room, sources say.
Although the gun-fun day was three years ago, someone recently began circulating photographs of the pistol-packing players among state troopers, prompting outraged calls for an outside investigation.
“It’s a state police firing range used for state police to train. When we’re there, it’s downright military,” said one state police official, who requested anonymity. “But at this event, it’s chaos. Everybody’s throwing contraband assault weapons around like they’re toys; it’s like they’re having G.I. Joe tryouts. Not only is this totally unethical, but it’s totally illegal.”
Illegal… all the way to the bank! Boo-yes!
Of particular note is the unidentified player, second from the right, actually aiming a weapon at what appears to be his teammate’s head. Apparently you shouldn’t do that.
Now, of course, nobody was hurt and nothing went wrong at this party; that’s why we’re only hearing about it now, not in 2006 (if only Ben Roethlisberger had exercised the same amount of caution during his Helmetless Motorcycle Riding Party). But that fact almost seems to be in spite of everybody’s behavior, not because of it.
Just how bad could it have gotten? Oh, I dunno:
Yes, they had kids running around there. And who’s to say automatic assault rifles and children don’t mix, right?? Yeesh.